The Girls - Emma Cline | | Book Review

August 06, 2016

The Girls being Emma Cline's debut novel, Emma is twenty seven and from California. 

First impressions from the cover is a feeling of summer beach vibes with faded colours, similar to a Polaroid photo, however contrasting the darkness portrayed throughout the novel. It contains a misty air, an unsettling atmosphere that leaves you physically unable to put it down, each page leading you wanting more, craving more information, a power surging through your body to find out about The Girls.

Set in California, flashing back from Evie's childhood in 1969 to the present day and remembering what happened. Her adolescence filled with sex, drugs and odd friendships. 

Cline's style of writing is intriguing, compelling, powerful and rich.

It explores girlhood and womanhood, how women are treated in society by men. If looked upon in a feminist perspective, which I did because lately I've been hunting for books with feminist themes so slightly obsessed, then this book is a strong representation of the patriarchy in society. Cline's vague way of describing men and their power, especially over the girls, highlighted by the staring, the gaping at the female body and how susceptible it is for women to experience this uncomfortable ogling. Although there's the other side, Evie is a girl who doesn't particularly get much attention, she's not an IT girl and any sign of attention from anyone is appreciated, yearned for even. 

Continuing its exploration of girlhood it delves into sexuality and it becomes the centre attention, the act of sex detailed in erotic ways so easily, so safely that is normal and it reminds you that a girl masturbating is normal. (Yes feminism working!)

The story of Evie going off the rails as such, she finds herself fascinated by a unconventionally beautiful group of girls. Meeting Suzanne, Donna and Helen, the main girls of the group, the most important anyway. She is struck by their ways of live at the ranch and is pulled in by their cult like forces. The ranch becomes a safe haven until it turns sour.

Cline builds up to the climax, hinting continuously throughout the narrative to an act of violence and perhaps, satanic rituals.

She creates suspense, as you read you will feel it in your bones that a dreadful event is approaching, you will be gripped by the storytelling.

Favourite bit? Cline's talent of description.

Favourite character? I felt attracted to both Evie and Suzanne despite their completely opposite personalities. I could see parts of myself in Evie, but I loved the mysterious ways of Suzanne.

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